You'll love this easy lemon pepper chicken air fryer recipe! Just a few basic kitchen ingredients will create this moist, delicious chicken dinner served with a simple garlic lemon butter reduction. Add this one to your weekday dinner rotation!
What Kind Of Air Fryer Do I Need?
You can use any type of air fryer to make this lemon pepper chicken. Air fryers come in all sizes to fit all size families and kitchen space limitations.
The air fryer I use is the PowerXL 4-Quart Classic Air Fryer. I'm new to the air fryer world and mostly see it as a convenient way to crisp up frozen foods when I don't want to wait to preheat my oven (and trust me, it is a godsend for that kind of thing!) or for preventing reheated leftovers from getting soggy. I like that the size of my 4-quart air fryer doesn't take up too much space in my kitchen.
One useful tip to keep in mind when cooking in your air fryer is you never want to crowd the fry basket. In order to reap the benefits of the fryer's crisping capabilities, you want air to circulate fully around each piece of food. If you have too much stuffed into the fry basket, you may end up with soggy spots.
What Kind Of Chicken Do I Use?
I used a pound of skinless, boneless chicken breasts for this recipe. If your breasts are very thick, I recommend using the smooth side of a meat tenderizer and pounding the breasts until they are an even thickness throughout.
You can also use chicken breast tenders for this recipe, though they will cook a little faster in your air fryer, so check them a little earlier than the cook time stated in the recipe to make sure you don't dry them out.
Ingredients For This Recipe
You don't need any fancy or expensive ingredients to create this lemon pepper chicken air fry recipe. Let's go through them together:
Garlic Lemon Butter Reduction:
- 1 Lemon - zest the lemon and reserve the zest for seasoning the chicken. Then cut the lemon into very thin slices to simmer in the reduction.
- Chicken Broth - use half a cup for a flavorful liquid base in the reduction
- Garlic - peel and mince 2 cloves of fresh garlic - you can even add a little more if you love garlic!
- Butter - you'll need 2 tablespoons. I recommend salted, but if you use unsalted just add a teeny tiny sprinkle of salt.
Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken
- Chicken - I used a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which was a package of 4 breasts.
- Oil - Rub a little oil onto the chicken to promote browning and locking in of moisture. While olive oil isn't generally recommended for air fryers, use any other high smoke point oil (canola, vegetable, etc)
- Lemon Pepper Seasoning - use your favorite pre-mixed lemon pepper seasoning blend. I don't measure it - just spread a liberal amount onto both sides of the chicken.
Making this lemon chicken air fryer recipe as your entree opens you up to using pretty much any side dishes that you want to round out your dinner. Here are some ideas!
- Fresh green salad
- Bed of rice, buttered pasta, or polenta
- Creamy mashed potatoes
- Roasted herbed red potatoes
- Turnip or collard greens
- Yeast rolls or buttered and toasted slices of French bread
- Roasted vegetables (sliced carrots, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts...)
- Baked potato with all of your favorite toppings
- Cornbread dressing or Corn casserole/corn pudding
The fry tray and fry basket of an air fryer can be tricky to clean. First, check the instruction booklet that came with your fryer to see if any of the parts are dishwasher safe. If they are, use your dishwasher for those parts for sure! It'll make your life so much easier.
For the air fryer I use, the fry try inside of the basket is dishwasher safe, but the basket itself is not. For easier cleaning, I let the basket soak in warm soapy water for about 30 minutes before attempting to scrub the basket clean. Work smarter, not harder, right?
There are also air fryer basket liners available that will keep most or all of the mess off of the fry basket and make clean up way less time-consuming. But wait, there's a catch! The air fryer's crisping abilities depend on airflow reaching all surfaces of your food. If you use solid parchment liners, much of that airflow will be blocked and your food will not come out as tasty or well-cooked. Make sure when you purchase air fryer liners, you buy ones that are perforated! Yes, that will let a little mess through to the basket, but it will still be much cleaner than if you had used nothing at all.
Buy perforated parchment paper air fryer liners from Amazon
What To Do With Leftovers
This is a dish best served and eaten when fresh, but if you have some leftover, don't let them go to waste! Slice up leftover chicken and serve in a big salad full of leafy greens, chopped fresh vegetables, some freshly ground black pepper and a lemon vinaigrette.
You can also mix up a single serving of lemon pepper chicken salad. Add a little mayo, a chopped boiled egg, salt, pepper, chopped lemon pepper chicken and a tablespoon or two of chopped nuts. Serve in a sandwich, with crackers, or over a bed of fresh greens.Print
Lemon Pepper Chicken Air Fryer
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4
This easy and fast lemon pepper chicken is a quick dinner idea when made in your air fryer! Served with a garlic lemon butter reduction made on the stovetop that makes it extra rich and flavorful.
- 1 lemon, zested and sliced thin
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tsp oil
- Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- In a small pan over medium-low heat, add lemon slices, chicken broth, butter, and garlic. Let simmer until butter has melted and sauce has reduced slightly.
- If your chicken breasts are thick, use the flat side of a meat tenderizer to pound to even thickness. Rub chicken with oil and season both sides with lemon pepper seasoning and lemon zest.
- Place seasoned breasts in air fryer and fry at 360 degrees for 9 minutes. Open fryer basket, flip breasts, and place the lemon slices from the reduction onto the top of the chicken. Fry for an additional 7-8 minutes or until chicken is just done on the inside (don't over-fry to keep chicken from drying out).
- Remove chicken from fryer and serve topped with reduction.
Cook times will vary depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts. Very thin pieces will cook faster, while very thick pieces will take longer.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Entree
- Method: Air Fryer
Keywords: air fryer, lemon pepper, chicken breast, lemon slices, garlic butter, reduction
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